Sal says that while the Sedin brothers may have sailed off into the sunset and the Cup called Stanley won’t get a tour of the Park called Stanley this spring, the Vancouver sports scene will be bustling with Vancouverite John D Gunther being the breeder of the GII Wood Memorial winner Vino Rosso and the GII Santa Anita Derby winner and probable Kentucky Derby favourite Justify.
Vino Rosso, bred by John D. Gunther in Kentucky and bought for $410,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale, earned $535,000 for his victory and improved his record to three wins in five starts with career earnings of $620,500.
Bred in Kentucky by John Gunther, also the breeder of talented upstart Justify, Vino Rosso was a $410,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September sale. The colt broke his maiden at first asking at Aqueduct, then won an allowance race at Tampa in December. His first try in stakes company resulted in a third-place finish in the G3 Sam Davis, and he was a disappointing fourth in the Tampa Bay Derby a month later. Pletcher seems to have figured out the key to Vino Rosso’s better performances, and the colt now heads to the first Saturday in May with a record of three wins from five starts and earnings of over $530,000.
Justify, ch, 3/c
Scat Daddy — Stage Magic, by Ghostzapper
Owner: China Horse Club, Starlight Rcng or HoP Ptnrs LLC, et al
Breeder: John D. Gunther (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Mike E. Smith
Justify was bred in Kentucky by John Gunther, also the breeder of Wood Memorial winner Vino Rosso. Justify’s dam, the graded stakes-placed Ghostzapper mare Stage Magic, was also bred and raced by Gunther. The breeder had purchased her dam, Magical Illusion (Pulpit), for $425,000 at the 2005 Keeneland January sale.
Not to forgetPhoenix Rising Farms’ Flameway who garnered 40 points in the Blue Grass and should be on his way to the Kentucky Derby.
“My biggest concern was that (Arawak) was going to beat us,” said Mark Casse, trainer of Flameaway. “But he kept fighting. He never gave up. I got what I asked for. I said I wanted a fight at the top of the lane, and we got one.”
Sure enough, Flameaway showed why he has won five races over five different tracks on three surfaces. As the son of Scat Daddy put his early challenger away approaching the far turn, he was engaged by Good Magic moving to his outside into the top of the stretch.
It looked like Good Magic might blow on by Flameaway, but the gritty chestnut fought back with every ounce of his heart all the way down the stretch, beaten about two lengths at the wire.
“He never gave up,” said Flameaway’s trainer Mark Casse. “He’s just so classy, you’ve got to love him. I got what I asked for. I said I wanted a fight at the top of the lane, and we got one. Unfortunately, we were second-best today. I think Chad (Brown) did a tremendous job. It’s one thing to train a horse to be a champion, and another to train them after they’re champions. We’ve beaten the winner of the Wood (Memorial-G2, Vino Rosso) twice already. I think we can hold our head high. (Flameaway will) be heading home (to Churchill Downs) probably tomorrow.”
Sal Says that you better book your seat at the Derby Bar and Grill mighty early as it will be SRO on the 5th of the 5th.